#BostonStrong Lunch on Boylston Street

After the events of last week, hearing that the restaurants and stores of Boylston Street were mostly open again was very welcome news. A few local news outlets started a campaign for people to head towards the neighborhood on Saturday, to spend at least $25 each to help out the local economy. This seemed like a great reason to enjoy a good meal, so I made a reservation at L'Espalier.

I started things off right, with the wonderful Anniversary Blend tea and their amazing breads and salted butter.

Next up was an apricot sidecar, to complement my soon-to-be-arriving lunch, and a couple of appetizers. The arugula and gorgonzola financier was amazing, and even though I've had one of L'Espalier's smoked Gouda eclairs before, every time I try one I'm reminded of just how delicious and savory food can be. Yum!

My first course was the excellent seared Georges Bank sea scallops, with West Coast morels, charred ramp flan and seaweed-mushroom broth. The scallops were cooked to perfection, and the morels and flan mixed very well, flavor-wise.

I had a tough time deciding between the main courses, but ended up ordering the roasted Maine beef tenderloin with spring garlic purée, fermented black garlic, roasted sunchoke and bone marrow. It was an excellent decision, as I ate and loved every bit of food on this plate. The tenderloin was heavenly.

For dessert, I ordered a small version of L'Espalier's award-winning cheese plate. I was definitely getting a bit full by the end, but it was so good, and I knew I'd be walking quite a bit later in the day, so I soldiered on. It was totally worth it!

The first cheese was a mixed milk cheese, La Tur, Langa Alta, from Piedmont, Italy. It's a mix of cow, sheep, and goat's milk with a soft, rich, and mild flavor. Very creamy. Manchego was up next, a sheep's milk cheese from Spain with a firm texture and a buttery flavor.

The third cheese was the ever-excellent Comté, aged 15 months, from Petit Marcel, Franche-Comté, France. Apparently, Comté is the most popular cheese in France, where it's commonly eaten at a far younger age than 15 months. At this age, it has a great sweet, nutty flavor. Epoisses de Bourgogne from Burgundy, France, was the fourth cheese, and it was just as wonderfully flavorful as the first time I tried this cheese. Epoisses is a washed rind cheese, and it's known for being quite powerfully aromatic, but also extremely delicious.

The final cheese was True Blue from Woodcock Farm in Weston, Vermont. It was a tasty, creamy, strong blue cheese made from cow's milk. I can't neglect to mention the amazing s'mores macarons that Cynthia Gold, the brilliant tea sommelier, gave to me on the way out. So good!

It felt good to support a local business, especially one that's been right in the middle of everything. But it's good to support more than just businesses, so I've also donated to the One Fund Boston. Here's the link, in case you'd like to donate as well! One Fund Boston


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